Chapter 22 - 2,296 words
After countless hours of whining and arguing, Ron was finally convinced to get rid of the weird dead thing he'd found earlier. The only problem was that now the whole house had this foul smell lingering everywhere, which didn't sit well with Mrs Weasley at all. Because he was still being punished for yesterday and because he was the one who had brought it into the house in the first place, Ron was in charge of getting the house smelling nice and fresh, and he was on a deadline, the wedding was tomorrow.
Mrs Weasley had also ordered - I mean asked Harry and Ginny to help out since they were the ones who talked him into bringing it into the house. Despite Ginny complaining about it and trying to talk them out of it, in the end they both found themselves assisting Ron in the living room instead of enjoying their restful day before the wedding.
"I still don't see why we're getting punished, it's not like we forced you to do it" Ginny moaned for the hundredth time in the last hour. Harry nodded in agreement, it was true, if Ron had refused then he and Ginny would've probably dropped it and gone off to finish the garden - or if Mrs Weasley was busy away from the window they would have wandered off to have some time alone together.
"You gits are the ones who started all this so don't complain to me. Think how I feel, I was already punished, Hermione's now mad at me, mum's more mad at me and I had to get rid of the thing I found..." he was interrupted from his sob story.
"Ron please stop going on about that" Harry said exasperatedly, remembering how this whole thing started off in the first place. "What's so fascinating about that anyway?" referring to the thing he'd found.
"I dunno, that's why I was fascinated by it, 'cause I have no idea what it is" Ron answered after much thought. Harry and Ginny both stared at him, trying to decide if that was a logical enough explanation.
When no one spoke for five minutes Ron shrugged his shoulders then went back to spraying something on the furniture, it was supposed to cover up the smell but so far it hadn't been working. Harry had a feeling that once the whole room was sprayed the smell would go away and be replaced with something that didn't make your nose scrunch up in revolt.
"Besides Ron you haven't had too bad a day, from the way Hermione screamed when you walked in on her in the bathroom I gather you must've seen a bit more of her than you intended" Ginny teased, watching her brothers face light up like a tail light.
"W-What are you talking about, I didn't see anything" though even as he said this his face continued to glow telling them that he was lying.
"Are you sure about that Ron?" Harry asked his friend teasingly, maybe they would get some fun out of this after all. Ron was avoiding meeting their eyes by looking anywhere but at them, he didn't very much like the idea of those two helping him out anymore with the cleaning.
"Why don't you two spray the bathroom, I brought it in there to show Hermione so there's bound to be a bad smell in there. I'll finish doing the living room" before anyone could say anything Ron moved past them and busied himself with one of the armchairs.
Harry and Ginny didn't stick around long enough for him to reconsider, they hurried out of the room and headed upstairs, being careful not to bump into Mrs Weasley in case she thought they were going upstairs to do something besides cleaning.
Ginny was scrubbing down the sink which, judging from the muddy trail that was covering it meant Ron had either placed the thing on the sink because he was tired of holding it, or he'd dropped it when Hermione screamed at him. She was banking on the latter having happened.
She mused over the thought of what her mother might think if she came in here to use the loo and found them two alone in there, after all it was rather odd to be spending the day in the bathroom, especially since it was a warm summers day today.
"Ok I think I've been punished enough, no more cleaning for me" she heard Harry announce, probably to her. Turning around to see why he was saying that, she couldn't stop the laugh that escaped her lips just then.
The sight of Harry holding a pair of Ron's dirty underwear that he was supposed to put for wash weeks ago was just too much for her to keep it in. And to top it off Harry's facial expression as he stared at them was priceless.
"I'm starting to wonder if Hermione screamed because he'd walked in on her or because she'd seen these" he nodded to the underwear then threw it aside as if it were contagious.
Harry noticed that she didn't look even remotely sympathetic towards him, could she not see that that would leave him physically and emotionally scarred for life?
"This isn't funny, I might never recover from this"
"Come on. Don't you think you're overreacting just a tiny bit?" she asked him while still laughing slightly, using her fingers to emphasize what she thought of as 'tiny'.
Instead of responding Harry bent down and picked up the dirty underwear he'd cast aside only a few minutes ago, then he straightened up and threw it at her which in turn caused her to mimic Hermione and scream, though hers was less audible.
"EWW!" Ginny squealed, swatting away the underwear that was currently resting on her right shoulder where it had landed from Harry's throw.
"Yes?" Harry asked innocently, watching as the offending garment fell to the floor near her foot. She kicked it away quickly before turning on him.
"That was uncalled for and you know it" of course she wasn't really angry with him, more like disappointed.
"I don't know what you're talking about" he replied, feigning ignorance to what he was being accused of.
Ginny pretended as if she hadn't heard him, continuing on with what she'd been saying, "Throwing someone's siblings dirty underwear at someone is like using an unforgivable"
"Now who's overreacting?" Harry questioned with a raised brow, he was smirking playfully at her which was very attractive and if she weren't still traumatised by Ron's underwear then she would have found that quite a turn on.
"I'm not overreacting I'm stating a fact" she said simply.
"Nope you overreacted because I threw Ron's dirty inhumane underwear at you, but when I had it and said I'd be scarred for life it was a different story"
"And just think how Ron's going to feel, you throwing his stuff around and saying things like that. He's going to be devastated"
"Well that's okay, he's not my brother"
"Not yet" she responded automatically, turning back to the sink to continue cleaning. It took Ginny a whole minute to realise she'd said that out loud. Refusing to turn back towards him to see his reaction, she began explaining what she meant - or rather, tried to.
"...Uh, I mean...you know..." she was stumbling over her words and it took Harry all the willpower he had not to burst out laughing at her, 'she's so cute when she's flustered' he thought to himself happily.
Not wanting this to finish yet he again played ignorance. "No actually, I don't know. Maybe you should explain what you meant by that" he watched through the mirror as her face started going pale, what would she come up with?
"What I meant was...you two are practically brothers, you've been best friends for years...and...since everyone in this family sees you as part of it, well..."
"So what you're saying is you want me to be your brother?" Harry cut in, enjoying winding her up. Ginny spun round to him abruptly and stared at him, eyes wide.
"What?! No I definitely don't want that"
"Oh okay, so you don't want me to be apart of your family?" he added pretending to be hurt by what she'd said. Realising her mistake she quickly changed her answer before she caused any more damage.
"No I do want that, it's just, I wouldn't want you to be my brother"
Harry smiled inwardly, he knew what she'd meant when she said 'not yet' but he really wanted her to say it out loud to him. True he was a bit surprised by her reply, but, he had to admit to himself that once she'd said it he found himself quite happy.
"So if you don't want me to be your brother but you want me to be apart of your family, then what do you want me to be to you?" he asked, taking a few steps towards her slowly.
Ginny was flustered again and she wouldn't meet Harry's eyes, she really needed to be more careful with what she said in front of him from now on, otherwise she could accidentally scare him off.
"... H-Hey I have an idea, how about we get back to cleaning. The wedding's tomorrow and we were told to hurry and get it done" she blurted out before once again going back to cleaning the sink.
Harry rolled his eyes at her, not that she could see with her back turned to him. He would have continued to try get the answer out of her but he was reminded of something when she mentioned the wedding.
"Speaking of the wedding, I have something for you"
Ginny's interest was peaked, she looked at him from the mirror in front of her, "Really? What is it?"
"I'm not telling you otherwise it wouldn't be a surprise" he answered her, shaking his head at her reaction. Ginny was always the mature one in the Weasley family but mention that you have something for her and she reverts to a four year old. She had a big grin plastered to her face, well that is until he had told her that he wasn't going to give the surprise away.
"But I don't like surprises" Ginny whined, now wearing a grumpy facial expression which Harry also found cute.
"I know, that's why I'm keeping it as one"
She frowned at his response, he was so mean sometimes."So when do I get to know what it is?"
"When I give it to you, which won't be until tomorrow morning" Harry answered which left Ginny confused.
"Why tomorrow morning?"
Not wanting to give anything away he decided to go with being mysterious, even though he knew she wouldn't like that.
"Harry you're hard work!"
He smiled at her before clearing the distance between them, he wrapped his arms around her waist, slowly and gently then rested his head against hers, "Would you ever give up on me?"
She looked at him for what felt like a long time before she answered, liking how comfortable she felt right now, "No, never"
Harry leaned down and placed his lips on hers, enjoying the feeling that simple act brought. They stayed like that for a few minutes and then Harry pulled back, intending to end the kissing in case someone came in, but Ginny followed him and put her lips back on his. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer to her, wanting to be as close to him as humanly possible.
Harry was a bit surprised at first but quickly responded by placing both his hands on each side of her waist just above her hips, before slowly sliding them to the small of her back. He deepened the kiss, playfully biting her bottom lip before his tongue slithered along her lips, asking for permission to enter.
She answered by opening her mouth slightly. His tongue snaked inside and met hers, causing a battle of dominance to ensue. He pulled her closer to him, hungry for more contact. This wasn't enough for the both of them, they needed more.
"Excuse me" A voice interrupted them causing them both to jump a little, they hadn't realised that they had not been alone in here. Mrs Weasley squeezed in between them to reach the sink, making sure there was a bit of distance between the two teens. She could tell that they needed the distance to calm down.
"M-Mum" Ginny said breathlessly, trying to hurry to get her breathing back under control now that her mother was stood right next to her. She wondered how much her mum had seen.
Harry and Ginny were both breathing rather heavily which was really awkward seeing as that was the only sound that could be heard, everything else was unnaturally quiet.
As soon as Mrs Weasley had finished washing her hands, she picked up a tea towel and began drying them, turning to the two teens as she did so. She didn't say anything for awhile, trying to decide what she should say. After hearing everything that they'd said to each other and seeing how flushed they were from their 'activities' it didn't seem like yelling at them was the right thing to do. She did however need to separate the two.
"I think it's best if you and Ron continued cleaning the house by yourselves Harry, Ginny dear you can help me in the kitchen" she grabbed hold of her daughters hand - gently so Ginny wouldn't think she was in trouble - and led her out of the bathroom, handing Harry the tea towel before she left.